Christian Wolff: Burdocks

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For half a century legendary scholar Christian Wolff has created a very personal musical response to John Cage's challenging experiments and three of his most distinctive compositions receive inspiring performances here by a collection of San Francisco and New York's best and most imaginative performers. Fred Frith, Joan Jeanrenaud, Bob Ostertag, Miya Masaoka and Stephen Drury are just a few of the remarkable players percussion virtuoso William Winant has brought together to pay tribute to the fascinating work of this conceptual visionary, who performs at the piano with an all-star ensemble on his most famous composition, Burdocks. 

Track listing: 1. Burdocks 2. Tuba Song 3. Trio III

"Burdocks is for one or more groupings of players. It's a collection (from which one can choose what to play) of different distinctive, compositional ideas in ten parts. The ten parts include specific notations on staves, notations indicating only durations, often depending on the other sounds a player hears; and various verbal directions both explicit and suggestive. Various numbers of performers (no upward limit) can play, using any means of making sounds. Any number ot the ten parts can be played simultaneously or overlapped.

I had an image in my mind (before having heard them) of the Scratch Orchestra, a varied community of musicians (classical folk, experimental, jazz, et cetera), professional and amateur musicians along with non-musicians joined in a populist anarchist spirit more or less guided by Cornelius Cardew with Howard Skempton and Michael Parsons. I had also been affected by hearing a recording of Ba-Benzele Pygmy music, quasi-improvised, polyphonically, by a whole community." – Christian Wolff 

Christian Wolff was a featured composer at OM 6, (2000). Burdocks was performed by the Other Minds Ensemble: Fref Frith, guitar; Joan Jeanrenaud, cello; Miya Masaoka, koto, electronics; Gordon Mumma, french horn, trumpet; Bob Ostertag, sampler; William Winant, percussion; Christian Wolff, melodica, piano.

Burdocks was recorded by David Josephson on March 17, 2000, during the Other Minds Festival 6, at Theater Artaud in San Francisco.

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